Relocating to a new office can be a cause for excitement, as it is often a positive step for your company. However, moving is a big step not only for you, but for your employees as well. After all, it presents a change in their routine. Moving to a new space can impact your staff’s morale, so you have to handle the process with care. Be prepared for the fact that some staff members may be anxious or unwilling to move.
This article will provide you with recommendations for how to inform and prepare your employees for an office move. Your goal is quite simple: move quickly, smoothly, and with your staff feeling confident and moving with you.
1. Notify The Employees As Early As Possible
Using clear, simple language, let your employees know about the upcoming move as soon as the details are solidified. This way your staff will have enough time to consider their options and prepare travel routes.
A notice period of 2 to 6 months is reasonable, so don’t make the move on short notice. Be timely, clear and direct in communicating the situation to your employees so they don’t end up finding out from another source. Inform them of any possible implications such as reorganization. Use various methods of communication, including one-on-one meetings, team briefings, and e-mail.
Inspire your staff by providing positive messaging on the benefits of the move. Moving will become personal to your staff when they can look forward to things like equipment upgrades and more desk space. Give everyone a chance to ask questions and learn about the new office.
2. Be Honest And Emphatic
It’s important to be honest and open about the reasons why changes are being made. Your employees will appreciate your transparency and accept the situation faster, not questioning the motives.
Moving a business to a new office is a big decision, so by creating an open dialogue with your staff, you can go a long way in keeping your staff happy. Employees may even have some advice to contribute, so encourage questions or feedback. Some important questions that may come to employee minds: Does a move to a smaller space mean there will be layoffs? Will I still be situated near a window? How am I going to get all of my packing done?
Set up the right tools for your employees to voice their opinion. Giving them an open forum where they can speak freely–and with the choice of anonymity–will help you understand and quickly tackle their concerns.
3. Get Them Involved
Employees will want to know whether they need to help in the moving process. Some of them will appreciate being involved because it makes them feel more valued. Make them really feel like they are a part of the move, rather than something they have to do.
It’s essential to show that their input is valued, whether it’s taking suggestions for the new office floor plan or voting on an interior wall color. Just asking their opinions on such matters will be much appreciated.
Consider forming a move planning committee made up of employees who are especially interested in or well-suited for the planning of your office move. This group will serve a valuable role by making the decisions when it comes to selecting interior design details, hiring vendors, etc. This team can also give you insight into what other employees might be thinking.
4. Keep Them Updated and Enthusiastic
Employees can get upset and even lose trust in the business if they feel like they are not being adequately informed about the relocation process. Nobody wants to be kept out of the loop, so you should put up signs and send regular emails so all staff remains informed.
Any other relevant updates should be explained to employees. Considering housing all of the updates and announcements as well as FAQs in one place so employees can review them on their own time. As you get closer to the moving date, escalate communications and remind staff of important deadlines.
5. Celebrate The Move
Once you successfully complete your office move, it’s only right to celebrate it. Consider hosting a launch party and give your staff the opportunity to explore the new space while being rewarded for their hard work during the moving process. A party also gives your business an excellent networking opportunity. With a fresh atmosphere you can invite clients and new business prospects to your office, setting up golden marketing opportunities.
If your business is moving to an entirely new neighborhood, make sure you pass along key information such as nearby restaurants and a map of the area to your employees. They will certainly appreciate knowing their surroundings right from the start.
Once you get the celebration out of the way, you have to continue a successful transition into your new location. Check with your employees to see how they’re settling in. Address any issues that may arise, whether it relates to the new seating arrangement or individual workstations.
Making the move to a new office is a significant experience. When executed properly you maintain good morale among your employees and this keeps the process quick and efficient.
The key is to keep good, clear communication between you and your employees, because they are a critical part of the moving process. Notify your employees of the plan as soon as possible, be honest and emphatic, get them involved, and keep them updated and in good spirits.
Once the move is made, you can celebrate and begin a successful transition into your new office. Be sure you address real issues employees may have throughout the process. The last thing you need is increased anxiety and unwillingness about the move. Since your employees are your greatest asset, you have to effectively engage them from the start. Relocation can be a wonderful thing when done right.
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About the author
Eric D. Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter at @ericdavidgordon.